By Tzvetelina Sabkova and Estelle Bardon
The holiday season is here and although the festivities will look a little different this year, for many of us what counts the most is to spend quality time with our families.
There’s perhaps no greater gift than the gift of literacy, so here at MyLibook we have selected ten original and educational ideas that will make great gifts, especially for PreK and Kindergarteners who are starting on their reading journey — and we’ve even included some ideas that can help you get a bit of time to yourself in this busy run up to the festive season.
All of the items in the list have been tested and approved by children and parents.
- First up is our own MyLibook personalized book series for early readers. These custom-made books use your child’s name and avatar to make them the hero of the story. As each set has seven books your little reader will be entertained for weeks after the holidays as they learn three-letter words and their first sight words. Bonus: Use the Coupon Christmas2020 to get 10% off and free shipping. (From $40.49 with the coupon)
- Give your children the gift of thousands of books by subscribing at your local library. Many libraries are now operating through contactless pickups. There are also many electronic materials and educational support materials available from the comfort of your home. For example, New York Public library has videos of librarians doing storytime for kids available on demand (no subscription necessary, available anywhere) — which could be a great way to keep kids busy while parents are taking care of holiday tasks too. (Free)
- Word Building Puzzles — 3-Letter Words: Word building puzzles are ever popular and for good reason. The process of putting together the puzzles helps with letter recognition, comprehension and, as they tend to be based on simple three-letter words, phonics. We particularly like these sturdy ones from Lakeshore. ($14.99)
- Children love stickers and the large variety of alphabet stickers available are a great tool for them to learn the letters. One way of using these is by writing a word on a piece of paper and asking the child to find and stick on the matching letters. In this blog post there are some additional activities with stickers that can keep children focused and get you some quiet time! (Price varies)
- Marbotic is a unique tool that combines new technology and hands-on activities. Children learn using beautiful colored wooden letters and an interactive application on a tablet. It’s also available in ten languages which is great news for bilingual children. (From $59.99)
- Flashcards are an engaging tool that can be easily adapted to every child’s interests. In this article you can find fun ideas for games with alphabet flashcards we used with our kids. We find our kids love these Disney-themed flashcards. (Free to make or from $3.49)
- Literacy Wiz is a game to learn lowercase sight words. This game uses visual cards and cubes to help children build and remember sight words. My daughter enjoys hiding the words to make it harder for me! (From $14.99)
- Two-sided easels feature a chalkboard side and a magnetic, dry-erase whiteboard side. This was a gift we received from my in-laws. At first, I was not enthusiastic about the space it takes up but my daughters absolutely love writing and drawing with both the markers and the chalk. My 3-year-old even wrote her name for the first time on the chalkboard! (From $44.99)
- Magnetic books are another fun and educational activity we love. With 116 letters this book allows kids to make sentences and the compact travel case makes it easy to take anywhere. My 3 and 6 year-old daughters love using magnets. This book includes images and colored letters to motivate them to write words and letters. (From $14.99)
- Write and Wipe books are a great, mess-free option to learn how to write numbers and letters. Plus they are durable, reusable and long lasting. Tzveti has been surprised to see her high energy toddler stay focused for several minutes, perfecting his skills and going from scribbles to actual writing thanks to these books. We love the Scholastic Early Learners series. (From $5.59)
We hope this short selection will help you choose fun and educational gifts that will please your children while supporting them in their learning.
We wish you Happy Holidays and may the festivities bring you joy, warmth and love.
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